|MODERN ARMIES IN MINIATURES|
by: Paul Anstee [ ]
The kit is of a small, one-man infantry mech, sporting a pair of maxims mounted within it’s right arm and a bare four fingered hand on the left. The kit comes in a small black box 110x80x30mm and is packed within this in an appropriately sized grip lock bag (Picture 1&2). Other than that there is little protection for the resin inside. Fortunately, my vendor packed the box in a sturdy box before sending to me. The bag contains 10 pieces cast in light grey resin (Picture 2).
The Pieces consist of: -
The main torso
Four smoke launchers? (might be something else)
The resin looks very well cast and there is plenty of detail in the small rivets, hatches and vents. The arms are very well cast with no visible bubbles present on my copy (pics 3&4). The arms whilst looking good both have small drawer like boxes on the inside surface of the arms which I at first assumed must be Magazines but I am forced to conclude they must be just either storage or just detail. The legs to are well cast and a quick trial fit shows they fit as they were designed to which is good (pics 14,15&16). They have a large amount of nice fine details with large rivets. Bolts on the knee pads. The body is very free of bubbles (pic 6) and flash, however there does seem to be a large mold line across part of the right hand side of the torso which will require a little remedial work to fix (Pic 7). So far so good. A quick test fit of the arms brought up a small issue with clearance of the arms and the torso. If you look at pics 5&9 you can see two round riveted plates on the front of wither side of the torso. These plates have resin stubs attached which block the free movement of the arms in their sockets. A simple solution is either to drill and pin the arms allowing for a little more clearance, or just removing the stubs. The legs have no such issue other than they have only one way to fit as they have been constructed as a cup-and-ball type of arrangement which only allows for the correct orientation (pics 10,14,15&16). Although whilst messing I found you could fit the legs the opposite legs which will alter the stance a little.
Now I come to the bits of the kit I find aesthetically un-pleasing they are the side exhaust and the smoke launchers (pics 11,11a,12&13). I must here go on record as saying the first time I saw this kit I wanted it, but I hate that exhaust with a passion. It just seems too thick and clunky and in my opinion needs replacing with something else entirely. The same goes for the smoke launchers, if indeed this is what they are. These smoke launcher/ static dischargers or whatever will be a little difficult to replace. The Soviets unlike the British and Germans did not go into smoke dischargers of this type until a number of years post war. The units themselves fit into holes in the top of the torso which if not used will be have to be filled although they are quite deep a better solution maybe to use some plasticard to cover the recesses (pic 11). They just don’t seem to be WW2 enough if you see what I mean.
Other than those issues, I can see this kit I can see this kit building up quickly and easily. Size wise as you can see in pic 18 it is only a little bigger than a man so I can see there being enough room for the pilot/soldier within the machine. At the end of the day even if you like me don’t like those bits, a bit of scratch building and you will have something great. Myself I think I will try using the smoke stack off a KP-42 field kitchen, plating over the smoke launchers and maybe fitting MDsh smoke canister to the rear.
ConclusionOther than the previous mentioned dislikes my only real concern is the lack of posability. You can pretty much only build it as provided as they kit has fixed joints. Still at the end of the day this was evident by the cheap price of the kit. Now I could be wrong, but I am guessing that the low price could be as this is the first Soviet kit in the range it may be a sounder to test the market but I do hope not as I look forward to more kits of the ilk.
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